Activated Carbon Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The Activated Carbon Market is segmented by Product Type (Powdered Activated Carbon, Granular Activated Carbon, and Pelletized or Extruded Activated Carbon), Application (Gas Purification, Water Purification, Metal Extraction, Medicine, and Other Applications), End-user Industry (Water Treatment, Food and Beverage, Healthcare, Automotive, Industrial Processing, and Other End-user Industries), and Geography (Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, South America, and Middle-East and Africa). The report offers market size and forecasts for activated carbon in revenue (USD million) for the above-mentioned segments.

Market Snapshot

Activated Carbon Market Size
Study Period: 2017-2027
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: Asia Pacific
CAGR: <6 %
Activated Carbon Market Key Players

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Market Overview

The global activated carbon market is valued at USD 3,647.48 million in 2021, and it is expected to register a CAGR of 5.86% during the forecast period (2022-2027).

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the usage of activated carbon in face masks increased in the market, as the demand for face masks increased due to the pandemic. Many manufacturing companies were on halt, and few continued their flow of supply, making sure the industries which rely on their products are kept alive, such as Haycarb. Haycarb PLC, in the battle against the global pandemic, donated 3,000 face masks of Oxypura Care brand equipped with a carbon filter, along with a TDK 20 filter material. Similarly, Donau Carbon GmbH donated 500 face masks based on carbon material to local Frankfurt hospitals as a helping aid.

  • In the medium term, major factors driving the market are conformance to stringent environmental regulations in water treatment applications in the United States and augmenting prominence for air pollution control (especially mercury removal).
  • On the flip side, narrower markets, due to the increased costs of some grades of activated carbon and the threat of substitutes like silica gel and supersand, are expected to hinder the growth of the market.
  • Asia-Pacific dominated the market across the world, with the largest consumption from the countries, such as China and Japan.

Scope of the Report

Activated carbon is a form of carbon processed to have small, low-volume pores that increase the surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions. Usually, activated carbon is extracted from charcoal. The activated carbon market is segmented by product type, application, end-user industry, and geography. By product type, the market is segmented into powdered activated carbon (PAC), granular activated carbon (GAC), and extruded or pelletized activated carbon. By application, the market is segmented into gas purification, water purification, metal extraction, medicine, and other applications. By end-user industry, the market is segmented into water treatment, food and beverage, healthcare, automotive, industrial processing, and other end-user industries. The report also covers the market size and forecasts for the activated carbon market in 15 countries across major regions. For each segment, the market sizing and forecasts have been done on the basis of revenue (USD million).

Product Type
Powdered Activated Carbons (PAC)
Granular Activated Carbons (GAC)
Extruded or Pelletized Activated Carbon
Gas Purification
Water Purification
Metal Extraction
Other Applications
End-user Industry
Water Treatment
Food and Beverage
Industrial Processing
Other End-user Industries
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
South America
Rest of South America
Middle-East and Africa
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
Rest of Middle-East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Increasing Demand for Water Treatment Applications

  • Water treatment is a popular application of activated carbons. Most of the water treatment filters are made up of granular activated carbon. It is used to remove organic-chemical substances and colorants and reduce trace substances, such as chemicals.
  • Additionally, the federal policy programs, including the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act coordinated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), provide treatment and discharge regulations, funding programs, and frameworks for operating and applying innovative water and wastewater treatment technologies. Hence, this is further expected to boost the demand for activated carbons from the water treatment segment.
  • In terms of volume, the water treatment segment is estimated to have the second-largest share, with more than 30% of the total market, in 2022.
  • In July 2021, Veolia enhanced the development of its water business in Japan by signing off the operation of the Miyagi Water and Wastewater Concession Project. This concession contract is for 20 years of O&M and renewal works of 8 treatment plants, with a total treatment capacity of over 900,000 m3 per day.
  • In 2020, the European Investment Bank invested about EUR 4 billion in the water and wastewater management sector to provide safe drinking water to 29.6 billion people. This is expected to increase the water and wastewater treatment capacities in the region.
  • Also, in 2021, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Flemish wastewater treatment company Aquafin collaborated with the signature of a new financing agreement worth EUR 100 million for enhancing wastewater treatment quantity.
  • Therefore, considering the aforementioned factors, the demand for activated carbons is expected to rise from the water treatment segment during the forecast period. Moreover, the COVID-19 outbreak is expected to have a positive impact on the market, due to increasing awareness toward water safety and hygiene.
 Activated Carbon Market Share

China to Dominate the Market in the Asia-Pacific Region

  • The Asia-Pacific region is expected to dominate the market.
  • China is the largest activated carbon market in the world. Activated carbon is used widely in the water treatment, food and beverage, healthcare, and automotive industries and industrial processing.
  • Increasing water requirements from the industrial sector and changing government regulations for the prevention of water pollution and control action plan have increased the demand for water treatment in recent years. Wastewater treatment is mainly used because of the coal, steel, and iron industries, which require fresh water for day-to-day activities.
  • According to the International Trade Administration, China plans to build or renovate 80,000 km of sewage collection pipeline networks and increase sewage treatment capacity by 20 million cubic meters/day between 2021 and 2025.
  • The OICA recorded production of automobiles in China to 26,082,220 units of passenger cars and light vehicles in 2021 up from 25,225,242 units in 2020. The growth in 2021 was 3%. Moreover, the CAAM estimates the production of the automobile is further likely to ascend with the growing demand from the passenger cars segment.
  • China has the recognized market for pharmaceuticals and is the fastest emerging market for activated carbons. The country has a large and diverse domestic drug industry, comprising around 5,000 manufacturers, of which many are small- or medium-sized.
  • Hence, owing to the above-mentioned factors, China is likely to dominate the market in the Asia-Pacific region during the forecast period.
Activated Carbon Market Growth

Competitive Landscape

The activated carbon market is partially consolidated, where the top-five players account for a major share in the global market. The major companies in the activated carbon market include (not in any particular order) Jacobi Carbons Group, Ingevity, Kuraray Co. Ltd, Haycarb (Pvt) Ltd, and Cabot Corporation among others.

Recent Developments

  • In November 2021, Cabot Corporation announced to sell its Purification Solutions business, including activated carbon business, to One Equity Partners, and the transaction is expected to complete by the end of the first quarter of 2022.
  • In February 2021, Ingevity Corporation announced that it had expanded its activated carbon production capacity following significant debottlenecking and equipment upgrades completed and verified in late December at its facility in Zhuhai, China.
  • In September 2020, Advanced Emissions Solutions Inc. announced 15-Year Activated Carbon Supply Agreement with Cabot Corporation. The agreement is expected to increase the manufacturing utilization, diversify the activated carbon product mix, and provide 30%-40% incremental revenue growth.
  • In June 2020, Calgon Carbon Corporation announced that it intends to expand capacity at its Pearlington, Mississippi plant by adding a second virgin activated carbon production line. The estimated investment in the additional production line will be USD 185 million. Calgon Carbon’s virgin granular activated carbon capacity will exceed 200 million pounds per year post-completion, which is estimated to be in late 2022.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Drivers

      1. 4.1.1 Conformance to Stringent Environmental Regulations in Water Treatment Applications in the United States

      2. 4.1.2 Augmenting Prominence for Air Pollution Control (Especially Mercury Removal)

    2. 4.2 Restraints

      1. 4.2.1 Narrower Markets Due to Increased Costs of Some Grades of Activated Carbon

      2. 4.2.2 Threat of Substitutes Like Silica Gel and Development of Better Alternatives

    3. 4.3 Industry Value Chain Analysis

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products and Services

      5. 4.4.5 Degree of Competition

    5. 4.5 Regulatory Policies

    6. 4.6 Trade Analysis

    7. 4.7 Price Trends

    8. 4.8 Technological Landscape - Quick Snapshot

    9. 4.9 Production Analysis


    1. 5.1 Product Type

      1. 5.1.1 Powdered Activated Carbons (PAC)

      2. 5.1.2 Granular Activated Carbons (GAC)

      3. 5.1.3 Extruded or Pelletized Activated Carbon

    2. 5.2 Application

      1. 5.2.1 Gas Purification

      2. 5.2.2 Water Purification

      3. 5.2.3 Metal Extraction

      4. 5.2.4 Medicine

      5. 5.2.5 Other Applications

    3. 5.3 End-user Industry

      1. 5.3.1 Water Treatment

      2. 5.3.2 Food and Beverage

      3. 5.3.3 Healthcare

      4. 5.3.4 Automotive

      5. 5.3.5 Industrial Processing

      6. 5.3.6 Other End-user Industries

    4. 5.4 Geography

      1. 5.4.1 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. India

        3. Japan

        4. South Korea

        5. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      2. 5.4.2 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

      3. 5.4.3 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. Italy

        4. France

        5. Rest of Europe

      4. 5.4.4 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Argentina

        3. Rest of South America

      5. 5.4.5 Middle-East and Africa

        1. Saudi Arabia

        2. South Africa

        3. Rest of Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Market Share (%) **/Ranking Analysis

    3. 6.3 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    4. 6.4 Company Profiles

      1. 6.4.1 Advanced Emissions Solutions Inc.

      2. 6.4.2 Albemarle Corporation

      3. 6.4.3 Cabot Corporation

      4. 6.4.4 Carbon Activated Corporation

      5. 6.4.5 CPL Activated Carbons

      6. 6.4.6 Desotec

      7. 6.4.7 Donau Carbon GmbH

      8. 6.4.8 Evoqua Water Technologies LLC

      9. 6.4.9 HAYCARB (PVT) LTD

      10. 6.4.10 Ingevity

      11. 6.4.11 Jacobi Carbons Group

      12. 6.4.12 Karbonous Inc.

      13. 6.4.13 Kuraray Co. Ltd

      14. 6.4.14 Kureha Corporation

      15. 6.4.15 Puragen Activated Carbons

      16. 6.4.16 Silcarbon Aktivkohle GmbH

      17. 6.4.17 Veolia

    5. *List Not Exhaustive

    1. 7.1 Emerging Applications in the Medical and Pharmaceutical Sector

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Activated Carbon Market market is studied from 2017 - 2027.

The Activated Carbon Market is growing at a CAGR of <6% over the next 5 years.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Asia Pacific holds highest share in 2021.

JACOBI CARBONS GROUP, Kuraray Co., Ltd., HAYCARB (PVT) LTD., Ingevity, Cabot Corporation are the major companies operating in Activated Carbon Market.

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